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About San Francisco

Cruising under the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco is one of the world's greatest travel experiences for it acts as gateway to a fascinating city set across dozens of hills overlooking the bay.

The hippies are long gone but San Francisco's scenic beauty, laid-back ambience and more than 3,000 restaurants make it a joy to visit. The famous Fisherman's Wharf harbourfront restaurant and multi-coloured boats complex, where seals happily sunbathe on its wooden decking, faces out towards the former island prison of Alcatraz which is now a major tourist attraction just like the city's colourful Chinatown district and upmarket shopping centre in Union Square.

And no visit to San Francisco would be complete without a trip on the city's 130-year-old tram system carrying you up and down the improbably steep streets made famous by that stomach-churning Steve McQueen car chase in the movie Bullitt.

From the city, you can also visit the pretty resorts of Sausalito and Monterey.

 

Shore excursions in San Francisco

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Alcatraz and Sausalito

Activity highShopping

Duration: 5½ hours

Enjoy a fascinating insight into the lives of those imprisoned on Alcatraz, before visiting the free-spirited town of Sausalito.

This tour begins with a cruise to the infamous and notorious former federal prison - Alcatraz. Home to the likes of Al Capone and Robert ‘The Birdman’ Stroud, this austere island fortress retains its mystique even today. An award-winning audio tour allows you to explore at your own pace, while hearing actual interviews of former guards and inmates and the fabled escape attempts of those criminals who made their home on ‘The Rock’.

Returning by ferry to the city, you’ll board a coach for a scenic drive crossing the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll arrive at the artists’ colony of Sausalito, a stark contrast to the prison island. The winding roads, cliff-side homes and houseboat havens make this one of the most unique areas in the region. You’ll have a short time to stroll at leisure and explore the many art galleries, boutiques and quaint shops in this bayside village.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, ferry and on foot. A $33 National Park admission fee is included in the cost of the excursion. Passengers are advised that this tour involves approximately 2 hours’ walking with frequent stops. The ground may be uneven with gravel surfaces and steps at Alcatraz. The tour may operate with a reverse itinerary. Bookings close 7 days prior to arrival, cancellations after this time cannot be refunded.

Monterey and Carmel

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 11 hours

Enjoy a day of scenic delights as you travel the dramatic West Coast stopping at Monterey Bay, Cannery Row and Carmel Town.

South of San Francisco is the famed Monterey Peninsula, one of California's most scenic and historic areas. Your morning departure from San Francisco begins a day-long adventure down the breathtaking California Coast. Relax and enjoy the scenic drive past the quaint beach towns of Santa Cruz and Capitola en route to Monterey. Stops along the way provide an opportunity to view Monterey Bay and the rugged coastline. While in Monterey, you'll have time to explore the interesting sights and shops of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and admire the beautiful views over Monterey Bay. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant accompanied by a glass of Californian wine, mineral water and coffee.

After lunch you’ll take the scenic 17 Mile Drive to the seaside town of Carmel. Known the world over, the 17-Mile Drive features spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean as well as beautiful estates and mansions interspersed among the holes of the championship Pebble Beach Golf Course. Upon arrival in Carmel, you’ll have some free time to browse the many local art galleries and speciality boutiques for which the town is famous.

Your return to San Francisco will be through Silicon Valley, the heart of the high tech corridor where the dot-com era was born.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are advised that there will be approximately 2 hours walking involved in this tour. Bookings for this tour may close earlier than other tours for San Francisco

Napa Valley Experience

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 9 hours

This exclusive tour will show you the beauty of the Napa Valley and allow your palette to be treated to wine and a gourmet lunch.

Your drive will take you to the picturesque Napa Valley, America's most well known wine making region.

Visit the Rutherford Hills Winery which boasts spectacular views over Napa Valley. A behind the scenes look at the production facilities provides an interesting insight into the world of wine making. Your guide will lead you through an interactive tasting experience as you learn about the wine-making process and sample some of their award winning wines.

Lunch will follow at the Farmstead restaurant which showcases the seasonal, ingredient-driven American farmhouse cooking of award-winning chef Stephen Barber. After a brief tour of their demonstration gardens, you’ll enjoy a 3 course local style meal featuring an authentic farm-to-table menu along with specially chosen wine pairings.

The day ends fittingly at the Domaine Carneros Winery of Taittinger fame. The spectacular estate features an elegant chateau inspired by Champagne Taittinger’s historic Chateau de la Marquetterie in France. Entering via the grand staircase, you’ll enjoy inspiring vineyard views on either side, with the beautiful gardens below. Here, you’ll see a different process as you learn how sparkling wine is made. Following your orientation, delight in a special tasting with a local wine expert.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Children may not participate. This exclusive tour has limited availability, therefore early booking is highly recommended. Please note that the venues are subject to change and alternatives of a similar quality will be used.

Napa Valley Vintage Train, Wine and Lunch

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 7 hours

Take a drive to the Napa Valley and step aboard a vintage train to enjoy scenery, wine tasting and a delicious 3-course meal.

Setting off from the port, your drive will take you over the Golden Gate Bridge and north east towards the wine county of Napa Valley.

Upon arrival in Napa, you’ll step aboard a vintage train for a 3 hour round trip to St Helena and back. Relive the glory days of train travel in Pullman vintage rail cars that have been lovingly restored. The mahogany paneling, brass accents and etched glass partitions evoke the spirit of rail travel in the early 1900s. As the train pulls away, sit back, relax and admire the picturesque Napa Valley scenery, with its rolling hills of countryside scattered with vineyards. During the train ride you’ll sample selection of wines, referred to as a ‘wine flight’, which will showcase the best of the regions offerings. A delicious 3-course meal will also be served.

As your train ride reaches its end back in Napa, you’ll re-board a coach for the return drive to San Francisco.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, train and on foot. Places on this tour are limited to 32 passengers. Once full, places will be on a request basis only and may not be guaranteed. The coach journey to and from the Napa Valley is around 1½ hours each way. Kindly note that the outward scenery will duplicate that seen on the round trip train ride. Wine will only be served to those over the age of 21. Please remember local currency or a debit or credit card for payment if you wish to purchase additional wine or refreshments. A degree of agility is required when boarding the train with steps to negotiate. There are toilet facilities on the train. The train ride is not exclusive to P&O Cruises. Bookings for this tour will close on 15th January 2018, after which time this tour is non-refundable.

San Fran Swinging 60's 'Magic Bus'

Activity low

Duration: 2 hours

Relive the days, and perhaps your youth, of the swinging 60’s, aboard the psychedelic ‘Magic Bus’.

Sit back, relax and adjust your eyes as you are thrown into a psychedelic trip back to 1960’s San Francisco. As you travel through this wonderful city, your bus will fill with video and music and you’ll be toe tapping along to the sounds of famous artists such as the Beatles and Dusty Springfield.

Your drive will take in highlights such as the culturally vibrant Chinatown, the historic centre of the Beatnik Generation, North Beach, and you’ll also pass haunts such as the City Lights Bookstore, where Jack Kerouac and other pioneering figures of this generation spent their days.

A stop will be made at the Golden Gate Park, where you’ll learn how America’s largest urban park was the site of the first Human Be-In and Earth Day. Enjoy the lovely views, before rejoining the ‘Magic Bus’ for the return drive to the pier and a final 60’s sing song!

Essential information

This tour will operate by bus. This tour is not suitable for children. The majority of the tour is conducted by bus. This tour contains material referring to popular culture of the era. Wheelchairs cannot be accommodated on the ‘Magic Bus’. This tour has limited availability, therefore early booking is recommended.

 

A selection of cruises to San Francisco

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